Area 51 notes – May 27, 2010

Present:  Mike Roy, Terry Simpkins, Shel Sax, Carol Peddie, Jeff Rehbach, Mary Backus and Doreen Bernier

Guests:   LIS Web Team – Elin Waagen, Ian McBride, Jess Isler, Carrie MacFarlane, Jim Beauchemin, Barbara Merz (and Doreen Bernier)

The LIS Web Team joined us to present the results of their usability testing and their recommendations for changes to the web site, and next steps regarding ongoing assessment and maintenance.  The presentation included a discussion of the data obtained via various tools (e.g., student/faculty/staff surveys, Silverback, Usabilla, Google Apps and direct feedback) along with recommendations for the new web team.  The presentation was thoughtful and persuasive, and the ADs will be considering the recommendations in light of the new Web Team, which will be led by Jess Isler.  We would also like to heartily thank the Web Team for the heroic efforts and tremendous work over the past year.

We discussed the need to make sure we engaged Bread Loaf, the language schools, and MIIS in our evaluation of Google Apps.  Mike R will kick off the discussions this summer by contacting Michael Geisler to request a meeting with the LS directors, and Jeff will discuss the issue with Amy McGill of MIIS during her summer visit to Middlebury.  Mike R and Shel will also begin setting up folders in MiddFiles to store Google Apps/Microsoft Exchange evaluation materials.  (It was thought that using Google Docs for this purpose might unduly influence or bias the evaluation of  the two products!)

The Curricular Technology Team will be presenting their recommendations for a replacement for Segue to the ADs in June.  The ADs expressed great interest in hearing their evaluation of the various major LMS tools that are out there.

The meeting closed with a spirited discussion about the information literacy recommendations being considered by groups working on reaccreditation standards 7 & 8.  The discussion centered around achieving a balance between traditional information literacy concerns (e.g. research skills, evaluation of sources, etc.) and the use of “21st-century” skills such as the effective use of collaborative technology.

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